Tuned In: Portugal. The Man Make Stellar TV Debut On Conan

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Yesterday was a winner for late-night music, no matter which show you were watching: the performances were great across the board, and Jimmy Fallon augmented Pink Floyd Week with an appearance by famed rock photographer Mick Rock. Our favorite music moment last night was probably David Letterman’s teasing introduction of Death Cab for Cutie before their Late Show performance of “Stay Young, Go Dancing”: “They’ve got a guy [Chris Walla] back there at the piano—beautiful piano—and he’s also got a guitar. I’ve never seen that before. And I’m thinking, ‘Oh, get another guy!’”

Our pick for the best performance, though, goes to Portugal. The Man’s television debut on Conan, by a hair. Confession time: we haven’t really paid much attention to the band since they released 2009′s much-hyped—in certain circles—The Satanic Satanist, which didn’t do much for us. As it happens, the song they performed, “So American,” comes from July’s In The Mountain In The Cloud, which is the second LP they’ve released since The Satanic Satanist—and they’ve apparently improved significantly as songwriters during this moderately prolific period, because they sounded way better yesterday than we remember them being. We definitely have to check up on what we’ve missed.

Elsewhere on late night…

The Late Show With David Letterman: Death Cab for Cutie, “Stay Young, Go Dancing”
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno: TV on the Radio, “Second Song”
Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Givers, “Up Up Up”
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Dierks Bentley, “Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd Week)

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